A sweltering summer spent locked up in a library, whose architects and engineers mixed up summer with winter and now the heat was on full bore, threatening to boil the ink in her pen and spontaneously combust all the books.
"Wassup, Katie? You're looking hot!" Jimmy tossed his backpack on the table, rupturing the quiet and irritating her more than it normally would have.
"Jimmy, please. I'm trying to study--" he sat down at the table and put his feet up while she eyed him carefully. "-- and of course I'm hot! It's 90 degrees out... Jimmy, please!" Katie lunged across the table for the notes that he suddenly picked up.
"Tort reform, hey? Sounds awesome." He turned her paper over and over, skimming the messy paragraphs. "You, uh... you need any help with this stuff?" He asked coyly, a hint of a grin playing on his lips.
"Shush!" An angry sound emitted from a nearby stack.
Katie glanced at the sound and back at Jimmy, who was still holding her paper, daring her to come after it.
"No. I'm fine." She took the bate and lunged across the table, bracing herself against the hard wood with one arm under her breasts as she snatched the paper out of his hands with the other. Hey eyed her as she picked up her pen and dove back into her notes, refusing to make eye contact. He grinned at the top of her head, drilling a hole through her with his eyes. She'd come around eventually.
He jumped to his feet suddenly, knocking books and papers to the floor in a loud crash that prompted another "Shush!" from over the same stack.
"C'mon, Katie! We're getting out of here!"
She watched him race to the elevator, frantically pushing the down button. Exasperated, she threw up her hands, pursing her lips together.
"C'mon Katie!" he said again and a fiercer "Shush!" was his response.
The library was stifling and she doubted that outside would be much cooler but she picked up her curling papers and shoved them into her backpack and walked towards the elevator that Jimmy held open with his arm.
"There we go. I knew you'd come around."
"James, if I fail this exam -"
"You're not gonna fail. Seriously. Who ever fails the BAR Exam?" he laughed while he looked at her with daggers in her eyes as the doors slid closed.
"So, where are we going?"
"Where are we going?"
"Oh. I don't know."
"I thought you were taking me somewhere."
"I never said that."
"You dragged me out of the library when you know I have an exam to study for!"
"Oh yeah. Kicking and screaming as I recall."
"Jimmy, you know what I mean."
"Katie. Please. It's gonna be okay. Live a little. Just once. For me?"
"I can live after I pass my exam. I'm going back."
He grabbed her by the arm as she turned to leave. "C'mon. Don't do this. I'll take you somewhere nice. How 'bout that?"
She was quiet, looking up eyes closed into the blazing sun, but at least she wasn't leaving. She opened them when he didn't say anything else and she caught him staring at her in with a rather serious face.
"What? What is -- hey, what are you doing?" She swatted at his hand as he ran his thumb over her temple and down her jaw line to her chin.
"Well of course I am."
She pushed his arms to his sides and looked at him out of the corner of her eye.
They were quiet as people moved past them on the street and the sun threatened to melt them from existence.
"C'mon," he said suddenly; Jimmy clasped her hand in his and dragged her down the street. "I have an idea."
"Better help me pass my exam."
"Hey, I have one to write too, you know."
"Yeah, and if you score higher than me, I'm gonna kill you."
"This was your idea?"
"Yeah, it's great, isn't it? Popcorn, Chinatown, you and I in an empty theater? What could be better than this?"
"Oh, I don't know. Maybe prepping for the Bar?"
"You're such a wet blanket, Katie."
"I am not!" She folded her arms over her chest and sat back into the theater seat. "I just..."
"You just what?"
"There's a lot riding on this exam."
Jimmy took a popcorn kernel into his mouth and chewed it slowly, waiting for her to continue. When she didn't, he swallowed and turned from her, focusing on the screen's parting curtains.
"It's not about the exam, Katie." He passed the bag of popcorn and she took a kernel, popping it into her mouth.
"I'm not a wet blanket," she hissed in the dark.
"No, you're not," he said laughing. He grabbed her hand suddenly with his and she tensed, taking in a sharp breath.
"Just relax, Katie. Enjoy the movie."
Somewhat begrudgingly, she sighed, settling back against the seat. Jimmy squeezed her hand and grinned from ear to ear when she squeezed back. He set the bag of popcorn on the seat next to him and wiped his hand on his jeans. Slowly so she wouldn't notice, he crept next to her and switched hands so he could wrap his arm around her shoulders. He squeezed her shoulder and pulled her closer to him; her resistance didn't surprise him but she didn't pull away. Eventually, she settled herself against him and he stroked her hand with his thumb contentedly.
"Is there a specific reason why you chose Chinatown?" she whispered suddenly, her breath hot on the side of his neck.
"Yeah," he said leaning into her. "Everyone else has already seen it."
He kissed her then and the film went on without them.
Jimmy shifted Katie on his lap, adjusting for the arm rests on either side of the seat; he wrapped his arms around her hips, grazing his nose and lips down the side of her neck.
"Did you like the movie?" he nipped at her skin with his teeth.
"Yeah," she said lazily, gripping his elbows with her hands and tightening his grasp around her.
"What was your favourite part?"
"I don't remember."
He laughed as the house lights came on and she slid off of him to her feet; he pulled at her hand still entwined in his.
"I really gotta get back, Jimmy."
"Right." He nodded and stood; she grinned shyly as he pecked her on the cheek.
"Want me to walk you back?"
"No. It must have cooled off by now. I'll walk."
He studied her carefully, gently taking her chin between his thumb and forefinger.
"Good luck, Katie."
"You too, Jimmy."
He tilted her chin and kissed her softly before she turned towards the exit, leaving the theater.
She clung on to the doorframe, her body already out of the theater and into the lobby.
"Yeah?" he grinned. "You, uh... you need anything else?"
"Yeah. I am serious about the exam. If you do better than me, I will kill you."
He laughed, looking at his feet. "I have no doubt, Katie."
He looked back up and she was gone.